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Third Party Templates, Again

This month, we have another round of bloggers complaining of problems being experienced while uploading templates provided by Pyzam and other third party sources.

I'm tired of wasting my time trying to upload a new template that just won't upload. I am new to Blogger and just when I knew where beautiful templates are, that's when Blogger upload starts going crazy. It used to be very easy, no hassle before. I'm starting to lose my interest in Blogger. I'm beginning to resent the fact that is difficult to upload third party templates now.

I have been trying to change my template, but I am receiving error messages every time I try. It states:
We were unable to save your template. Please correct the error below, and submit your template again.

Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.

XML error message: The markup in the document following the root element must be well-formed.

Here we have another group of bloggers who expect Blogger to support all aspects of Blogging, including contributions from unknown third party authors, who may or may not be authoritative, benevolent, and competent in their work.

I've been watching Pyzam for many months, and wondering what would happen, as they became more popular. There are a number of issues here. Some of them you're obviously aware of, others you may not be. Everybody won't be aware of the same issues either.

The most obvious issue is third party code, in general. Pyzam contributors will have their own standards and priorities. They may not test Blogger code as thoroughly as Blogger contributors will. Some products may contain code which is intended for other blogging platforms too, and which may conflict with Blogger standard code.

Another issue is HTML vs XML - aka Classic vs Layouts. Many Pyzam templates are written in HTML, which is what Classic Blogger templates use. The "Upload" button, though, is only found in the "Edit HTML" wizard of Layouts Blogger. Templates written for Classic Blogger blogs won't work for Layouts Blogger, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, there's no indicator in any template that tells us "This template is written for Classic Blogger.", or "This template works only in Layouts Blogger.". When you upload, or modify, a template designed for one standard, using a wizard of the other, you will cause problems - and the problems will be unpredictable. Some of the problems will result in immediate bX codes, others may simply produce a corrupt template, and problems which show up later. Some problems have produced damage so severe and subtle, that deletion of the blog provided the final solution.

If you're going to use some Pyzam templates, you may have to revert the blog to use Classic / HTML. You won't have an "Upload" button there, nor will you have the gadgets and other accessories available to you.

Still another issue is support for Pyzam templates. It's ethically, morally, and technically wrong to expect Blogger to unconditionally support third party code. Some issues that you experience may be known by Pyzam contributors. Your reporting them to Pyzam may help you, other Pyzam customers, and Pyzam contributors. If you are one of those experiencing these problems, you may want to identify a Pyzam support forum, and be in contact with the helpers or staff there.

So, feel free to use templates provided by Pyzam and other contributors, if you want a beautiful blog and you aren't satisfied by the Blogger native selection. But, understand and accept the limitations which you will run into.

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